NFL Films Poll: Good Deal or Bad Deal?

Jun 11, 2013

NFL Films scroll

We’re encouraging each and every retired player to take a minute and express your opinion on the NFL Films Settlement Offer. As most of you who have been following the case already know, the NFL is doing everything they can to persuade everyone that this is the best offer they can possibly come up with. And the lawyers who can’t wait to get their hands on the $7 million+ legal fees are trying to convince you that the majority of retired players are all for this “monumental” and “historical” Settlement. Are you for this deal or against it? Are you going to go along with it and do nothing while everyone else gets a big payday except retired players? Or should retired players stay united and fight one more bad deal in a long list of bad deals that keep coming out of the NFL? The NFL and those lawyers have been dropping names of a few Hall-of-Famers to imply everyone’s for this deal. Well, here’s a list including Hall of Fame players who are publicly opposing this offer – and there are more to come!
Finally, this is your chance to be heard! VOTE NOW!
We’d also ask for each person voting in this poll to provide their name for several reasons: While our poll already includes security measures that will disqualify duplicate votes from the same source, we’re sure that even with overwhelming votes, keeping every vote anonymous will be just one more excuse for some to question the integrity of our poll. So please add your name to your vote so the NFL and their lawyers can hear you loud and clear (NOTE: We’ll keep your name offline but it will be matched to your vote).
PLEASE NOTE: This is strictly a poll to get a general idea of retired players’ opinions and not an Opt Out or Objection form. To OPT OUT or FILE OBJECTIONS to the NFL Films Settlement Offer, please refer to the 12-page overview that was recently sent to members of the Class (click HERE to read the document and your options).
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36 Responses so far | Have Your Say!

  1. Gregg Bingham
    June 11th, 2013 at 7:25 pm #

    Gregg Bingham

    This stinks! And here is why – filled with facts and figures and logic…


    Back in 1986, John Mecom sold the Saints for $65 million and 15 years later Bob McNair invested $965 million for the Texans. My calculator says that’s a 15-fold increase in 15 years for a annual compounded return of 100% and is off the charts by anyone’s standards! I defy anyone to tell me they can also do that except for the likes of Warren Buffet or Bill Gates or Steve Jobs et al.

    But here’s the kicker: All this increase in valuation happened while they were actually paying players MUCH MORE money than ever before in NFL history (prior to 1987). Which BTW came to pass in 1987 because of 14 consecutive lawsuits won against the owners for Sherman anti-trust violations – also known as the draft – and was financed by the players going to Topps Bubble Gum to get seed money for the lawsuits by demanding to “Get Paid” for our images on their cards because previously they were given away free. The anti-trust lawsuit losses forced the owners to give up SOME of the cash they were hoarding. BUT THAT WASN’T EVEN CLOSE TO FAIR AS WE ALL KNOW NOW.

    Just how much more did the players get??? Well, Reggie White went from $400K a year in Philly to $3.5 million a year in Green Bay. Now you can see how we got to where we are today. In the world of finance, assets are basically valued by figuring “free cash flow” making NFL clubs presently worth $1 billion apiece on average; that value is arrived at by using free cash flow metrics. The NFL brand has grown in value to stratospheric dimensions using many tools and one of those MAJOR tools was selling our legacy and history, most of which comes today from Ed Steve Sabol’s NFL Films.

    Oh – did I forget to mention the guy who owns the Titans had an original investment of $25,000 which is now worth… $1 billion today?

    So tell me how in the world can anyone deduce this is a good deal when in Hollywood, SAG (Screen Actors Guild) pays out royalties to every single actor and actress for every single film or movie ever made. FOREVER. AND THE FACT IS SAG MANAGES TO SEE TO IT THAT EVERY PENNY IS PAID TO THOSE WHO WERE IN THEM… meaning all actors or their estates are still getting paid even when they’ve been dead for decades. Let me say it again: THEY ARE ALL STILL GETTING PAID! As Fred Dryer said at the IFV Conference this year, he still gets paid for every single episode of Hunter that he acted in, directed and/or produced from 1984 – 1991! Over 20 years later! Only the NFL still tries to get away with this crap in this day and age.


    Gregg Bingham
    Houston Oilers
    1973 – 1984

  2. Ed White
    June 11th, 2013 at 8:33 pm #

    Ed White


    I think this is absolutely a rotten deal. A deal where the big winners are the League and the attorneys. Agreeing with this settlement, I would not only give up the past use of my identity but all future use.

    My heirs and I would not receive one penny. This settlement smells like the same old fish to me…

    Ed White
    Minnesota Vikings, San Diego Chargers
    1969 – 1985

  3. Rick Eber
    June 11th, 2013 at 10:08 pm #

    Rick Eber

    I vote NO to the settlement!

    Rick Eber
    Falcons, Chargers

  4. Dave Pear
    June 11th, 2013 at 10:20 pm #

    Dave Pear

    Where is De Smith and the NFLPA when it comes to the retired players’ rights? Oh – I almost forgot. Didn’t De give away the current players’ images and rights in the last CBA? Correct me if I’m wrong but they won’t receive any compensation when NFL Films uses their images, right?

    No wonder the NFLPA is so quiet. Sounds like De Smith is a lap dog for the NFL just like Gene Upshaw. Another chip off the same block.

    Dave Pear

  5. Joe Steed
    June 11th, 2013 at 11:16 pm #

    Joe Steed

    Apparently, De Smith owes the current active NFL players an explanation as to why they are not receiving compensation for their rights and images on NFL Films or game rebroadcasts, etc. if this is the case…

    Joe Steed
    Pittsburgh Steelers
    1992 – 1999

  6. George Visger
    June 11th, 2013 at 11:57 pm #

    George Visger Brain Scans

    Men –

    Shame on you all!

    I stood behind De Smith on the CA Capital steps this spring when he vomited… sorry, spewed his fire and brimstone sermon to the media as he fought for our rights. In fact, Nolan Harrison the XIXth can vouch for it. He stood right next to me shaking his pom poms and cheering De on. I mean both De and the XIXth are excited about it so it must be a good thing for us all. Isn’t it? They are our union and would never do anything not in our best interest, right?

    Now I read Gregg Bingham’s synopsis. Gregg is a very astute business man and has a much better command of numbers than brain-damaged I do. Thank you Greg for your detailed analysis of the proposed settlement. After reading both, I tend to lean more towards Bingham’s synopsis.

    My humble brain-damaged take on the situation:

    We’ve been offered $50 M in the settlement.

    $8 M immediately goes to the attorneys for their incredible work. The balance of $42 M is paid to an estimated (??) 16,000 living retirees over 8 years.

    This is a tough one, guys; I have major brain damage from my NFL injuries, so bear with me.

    Um…. let’s see, carry the one, reduce, multiply by the reciprocal squared. I seem to be coming up with ~ $273/month/player paid over 8 years.

    Attorneys take $8 M off the top.

    Roger gives himself a $2M bonus for settling the CBA.

    We (but exclude me as I’m not vested – only the recipient of 9 NFL-caused brain surgeries) get $273/month paid over 8 years.

    Thanks Roger, but no thanks.

    George Visger
    Brain Damaged Traumatic Brain Injury Consultant
    Former High School math teacher
    (before I was forced to apply for SSDI last year due to early onset dementia, short-term memory deficiencies and major cognitive impairment)

  7. Tom Sorensen
    June 12th, 2013 at 6:16 am #


    I called the representing firm and spoke with an attorney who basically said, “…you don’t have to do anything.”

    That didn’t sound right and I’m glad I get Dave Pear’s e-mails. After reading all this, I’m opting out.

    Was never a big star – not vested – but did put in years in the NFL and Canada and was beat up. :0) I figure that the League’s betting on our collective demise before any of this is settled.

    Tom Sorensen
    Pittsburgh Steelers

  8. Ron Pritchard
    June 12th, 2013 at 9:09 am #

    Ron Pritchard Bengals


    If you’re reading this message then get to the part that lets you make a vote for or against the silly settlement that the NFL wants you to be thankful for!

    The one that wants you to give away your publicity rights forever and not receive anything for them! You know the boys at the NFL read this stuff we write so let them know your opinion by voting. These guys are not your friends, those that are deceiving you with this bogus settlement. Like Jerry, I would rather lose this stupid case fighting it all the way than to be passive and let these money-grubbers win for all the wrong reasons.

    Ron Pritchard
    Houston Oilers, Cincinnati Bengals
    1969 – 1977

  9. Troy Johnson
    June 12th, 2013 at 6:49 pm #

    Troy Johnson

    What a joke!

    Troy Johnson
    Chicago Bears, New York Jets, Detroit Lions
    1989 – 1992

  10. Greg Davis
    June 12th, 2013 at 8:21 pm #

    Greg Davis

    George –

    I really respect the fight you still have.

    May God Bless you.

    Greg Davis
    Atlanta Falcons, New England Patriots, Arizona Cardinals
    Minnesota Vikings, San Diego Chargers, Oakland Raiders
    1987 – 1998

  11. George Visger
    June 12th, 2013 at 11:37 pm #

    George Visger

    Men –

    My apologies for my math. I forgot to deduct the $13.5 million the NFL is skimming off the top to cover potential Opt Out lawsuits and the fact there are more like 20,000 former players.


    How about $14.84/mo for 20,000 players over 8 years.

    I’d rather have them buy me lunch once a month!

    George Visger

  12. Darryl Ingram
    June 14th, 2013 at 5:24 am #

    Darryl Ingram

    They think it’s fair to pay me or my heirs nothing? Forever? Yet, they get the rights to my image and likeness? Forever?!!

    Darryl Ingram
    Minnesota Vikings, Cleveland Browns
    Green Bay Packers
    1989 – 1993

  13. Wade Key
    June 14th, 2013 at 6:44 am #

    Wade Key

    I probably fell off a turnip truck but it wasn’t last night!

    Wade Key
    Philadelphia Eagles
    1970 – 1979

  14. Gail Cogdill
    June 14th, 2013 at 9:51 am #

    Gail Cogdill

    Thank you, Dave Pear, for the information on the Settlement and updates.

    What I would really like to express about this mess, I’ll keep to myself. (I believe you get that…)

    Anyway, it hasn’t changed over all these years: JUST PLAIN GREEDY OWNERS AND THE PLAYERS WHO ARE ON THEIR SIDE! We know it and they know it.

    They will get their DUE some day.

    Gail Cogdill
    Detroit Lions, Baltimore Colts,
    Atlanta Falcons
    1960 – 1970

  15. David A. Lee
    June 14th, 2013 at 11:24 am #

    David Allen Lee

    This is no good! As others have said, the numbers do not add up with lawyer fees taking 40 percent! I have a good life but health is not so good now. I had to take a medical retirement from General Motors and that helped me get my disability from the NFL. That worked well and I was happy until the last CBA when I started receiving only 40 percent of what I should have received! They said mine was figured differently because of my disability. I thought the disability increase I received would be taken from the Legacy Fund and I would have received the difference but that wasn’t the case.

    I called a lot different people and asked why I didn’t receive my full amount. When I finally got the answer from the NFLPA, my anger came to the surface when they said, “You would be making too much money.” (?!!) When I was told that, I knew I could trust NO ONE at the NFLPA or the NFL!

    Those words, “You would be making too much money” won’t go away now! Sorry I got on that path!

    David Allen Lee
    Baltimore Colts
    1966 – 1978

  16. Lindon Crow
    June 14th, 2013 at 11:34 am #

    Lindon Crow

    I believe we should continue the fight for all retired players. No more General Fund. We have earned the right to be recognized.

    Lindon Crow
    Chicago Cardinals, New York Giants
    LA Rams
    1955 – 1964.

  17. Al Johnson
    June 14th, 2013 at 5:29 pm #

    Al Johnson

    Let’s stand together and fight for all retired players.

    Al Johnson
    Dallas Cowboys, Arizona Cardinals,
    Miami Dolphins
    2004 – 2008

  18. Roy Jefferson
    June 16th, 2013 at 9:50 pm #

    Roy Jefferson Steelers card

    This settlement as it is now does NOT give justice to players whose images have been used to make millions of dollars for the owners over the years. Yet we should be satisfied with a Charitable Foundation that we may not be able to access? Sounds just like the disability program. Give me a break!

    We should be paid based on dollars earned by NFL Films from its inception until 2014 and then set up a yearly lump sum for players based on the footage used from 2014 on where each pre-1993 player gets a lump sum from $25K to $300K based on playing time, years etc. and be done with it!

    Roy Jefferson (12 years)
    Steelers 1965 – 1969
    Colts 1970
    Redskins 1971 – 1976

  19. Jerry Sherk
    June 17th, 2013 at 8:24 am #

    Jerry Sherk

    A ‘No’ vote (BAD Deal) is a ‘Yes’ vote for our dignity.

    Jerry Sherk
    Cleveland Browns

  20. Bob Babich
    June 17th, 2013 at 2:21 pm #

    Bob Babich

    I voted NO on this latest slap. Anyone voting yes on this is siding with the owners and our beloved NFLPA.

    Bob Babich
    San Diego Chargers & Cleveland Browns
    1969 – 1978

  21. Jim Bradshaw
    June 18th, 2013 at 4:59 am #

    Jim Bradshaw

    What part of “NO” is hard for the NFL and Owners to understand. This offer is another slap in the face to those who have been denied way too long.

    It’s fourth and one with little time on the clock – LET’S GO FOR IT!

    Jim Bradshaw
    Pittsburgh Steelers
    1963 – 1967

  22. Rip Hawkins
    June 19th, 2013 at 6:35 am #

    Rip Hawkins

    It seems a little off balance to place the whole League and all the years in one pot. I don’t agree with the Settlement. It’s hiding the real issue: Who gets the money.

    Rip Hawkins
    Minnesota Vikings
    1961 – 1965

  23. Rudy Bukich
    June 21st, 2013 at 10:32 pm #

    Rudy Bukich

    I am disgusted with this proposed Settlement. What the players need is the money we are owed – not the proposed peanuts benefits the NFL is throwing like crumbs. It’s a NO!!

    Rudy Bukich
    1962-68 Chicago Bears
    1961 Pittsburgh Steelers
    1960 Pittsburgh Steelers
    1959 Chicago Bears
    1958 Chicago Bears
    1958 Washington Redskins
    1957 Washington Redskins
    1953-1956 Los Angeles Rams

  24. Darryl Ingram
    June 22nd, 2013 at 1:00 am #

    Darryl Ingram

    Does anyone happen to know if the proposed board (Who selected them? I don’t think it was by any of their peers.) is getting any compensation? This is a very lousy deal already but if a very few are due to receive direct compensation on the backs of the rest of us, then your answer’s right there. Divide and be conquered.

    Darryl Ingram
    Minnesota Vikings, Cleveland Browns
    Green Bay Packers
    1989 – 1993

  25. Billy Truax
    June 26th, 2013 at 1:05 pm #

    Billy Truax

    Legal junk, trash, obstruction and obfuscation! Designed to ail the plaintiffs and waste a lot of money in the name of NFL altruism. A cheap way out for the NFL – this Settlement offer is at best vague, contradictory, fragmented, shallow, narrow and totally open-ended and unclear!

    Billy Truax
    LA Rams, Dallas Cowboys
    1964 – 1973

  26. Robbie Martin
    June 27th, 2013 at 6:39 am #

    Robbie Martin

    After reviewing the settlement facts, it appears that the deal is designed to satisfy the current main plaintiffs and their lead attorneys. So many questions as to the disposition of the $8 million but that is really chump change to the choreography.

    And then you have the paltry fund of $42 million to be distributed by the same guys who are getting the cream of the deal. What are the bylaws as to how that money is distributed? You can bet unless you are tied into this system, your chances of collecting anything are remote. Are there management fees for that money? Isn’t this how it has always worked with the NFL and NFLPA? You and I should not begrudge those who are doing what people inherently do and that is taking care of themselves first. But where they cross over to the darker side of character is when they say this is the best deal for everyone. This is obviously not true.

    The “Common Good Fund” reminds me of an old Seinfeld episode when one of the characters (George Costanza) makes up a charity called The Human Fund and hands everyone at Christmas a certificate as a gift saying, “A donation has been made in YOUR name to THE HUMAN FUND.”

    They eventually find out that in fact there is no such thing as The Human Fund…

    Robbie Martin
    Detroit Lions, Indianapolis Colts
    1981 – 1986

  27. Wade Key
    June 28th, 2013 at 2:23 pm #

    Wade Key

    Now we have the NFL getting involved in politics and supposedly trying to sell Obamacare to the public! I totally disapprove of politics in professional sports. If they openly support it, I’ll be through with them. There are too many people with opposition to this healthcare.

    Government looks to NFL to help promote ObamaCare

    The NFL will lose a lot of viewers if they support this effort!

    Wade Key
    Philadelphia Eagles
    1970 – 1979

  28. Greg Larson
    June 29th, 2013 at 10:39 am #

    Greg Larson

    I vote NO!

    Greg Larson
    New York Giants
    1961 – 1973

  29. Dennis Franks
    June 30th, 2013 at 3:41 pm #

    Dennis Franks

    The time has come where the NFL and NFL films need to contribute to the long-term well being of the professional athletes that made this game great. Each of us played for the love of the game and appreciate the pay that was earned. Now that we’re Alumni, we are at least entitled to the additional royalty for the use of our likenesses and game footage that both the NFL and NFL Films continue to prosper from.

    We recognize that while we’re not owners, a fair and equitable return is only right and good business decision for mutually beneficial, long-term profitability.

    Dennis Franks
    Philadelphia Eagles, Detroit Lions
    1976 – 1979

  30. Conrad Dobler
    July 1st, 2013 at 12:18 pm #

    Conrad Dobler

    I must agree with Ed White and the rest of the group who oppose this settlement. I’ve already fired my first attorney (take a guess who that is!). I opted out because I will NOT allow anyone to have free rein over my image and signature for eternity.

    This “Settlement” is just another way to stall for a few more of us to die. I have never been more disappointed with the NFL than I am now. Just by offering this Settlement, they have insulted me and believe we are still the dumb jocks who are currently playing the game. The current players have done more damage to the game with all the arrests since the Super Bowl that they’re making it difficult for any of us to be associated with the NFL. It used to be good business to wear an NFL logo, now it’s just bad business. Something that I was proud to be associated with is now just too difficult to be associated with considering the current state of affairs in the NFL.

    We’re their biggest asset and we’re the ones tossed under the bus.

    Conrad Dobler
    St. Louis Cardinals, New Orleans Saints
    Buffalo Bills
    1972 – 1981

  31. John Demarie
    July 4th, 2013 at 12:54 pm #

    John Demarie

    I vote NO!!!

    John Demarie
    Cleveland Browns, Seattle Seahawks
    1967 – 1976

  32. Ron Pritchard
    July 4th, 2013 at 5:38 pm #

    Ron Pritchard Bengals

    Great decision, John!

    Especially on this particular day. Now be sure to Opt-Out from this ugly settlement as it is written now! That’s what’s so great about our country – our voices can be heard even if it is one by one!

    Ron Pritchard
    Houston Oilers, Cincinnati Bengals
    1969 – 1977

  33. Henry Bradley
    July 18th, 2013 at 3:52 pm #

    Henry Bradley

    My lawyer tried to tell me this was a great deal for the players.

    However, I believe in the former players’ position to Opt Out. It’s important that we stand for something or we will fall for anything. This is a chance for us to come together as one voice by our actions. All of us want and need something that is tangible at this stage in our life.

    Therefore, with all former players in mind, I opt out.

    Henry Bradley
    Cleveland Browns
    1979 – 1983

  34. Vince Ferragamo
    July 31st, 2013 at 5:16 pm #

    Vince Ferragamo

    I also disagree with the settlement.

    I have already opted out as well. This is the same negotiation tactic the NFL has used for years. I was forced to leave the NFL after playing in the Super Bowl and in 1981 had to play for the Montreal Allouettes. There was no free agency back then. In 1982 – the year of the strike – I was in favor of fighting for free agency but the NFLPA said it wouldn’t work. They said we should go for 57% of the gross that the owners make. What a big mistake. In 1987 – 5 years later – the topic was free agency. Today, free agency in large part is the reason players make the kind of money they do.

    In fact, all of us had to fight for the benefits enjoyed today through free agency. I see this issue much the same as we move through retirement. We all need to be free agents to help ourselves. The only way is to clean the slate, negotiate now as a free agency group. The legacy that we’ve left behind should be used as a free agent marketing tool and provide the entire group – not just a few – who wore an NFL jersey some benefits, no matter how small.

    Don’t be persuaded by the current settlement offer. It will be a precursor to a humiliating fall.

    Vince Ferragamo
    LA Rams, Buffalo Bills
    Green Bay Packers
    1977 -1986

  35. Mike Davis
    August 15th, 2013 at 10:33 am #

    Mike Davis Block

    In the real world where such lawsuits are taken seriously and Lawyers are held truly accountable there are some true plaintiff victories with real money going to the clients. But in our world as Pro Football players/NFL/NFLPA, we live in an abnormal, dysfunctional reality show that has been on going from the founding years of the NFL. And will continue.

    Many of you say, “Those are always the NFL tactics!” You are spot on!

    This NFL films Lawsuit was a long time in coming. We all know the NFL is wrong, We all know NFL Films is wrong. We all know this is a wrong that must be made right.

    I for one see absolutely no benefit in the proposal for me. Not even one iota of a crumb, nary a nickel. The Greater Good Fund is a shaft up the a**. Once the money is “paid out,” it’s gone forever! Just take time to think that through: Gone forever. $50,000,000 cut up 4 ways: Lawyers and 3 different “charities” to say who gets what. What a RIPOFF!

    Now that you’re thinking a bit, what’s left of the $Millions after all the cut ups? Yep, almost nothing. Hell, a knee replacement – $25,000 a pop! Hip – $30,000 a pop. Need I go on? Oh yes, I nearly forgot: The generous assistance of a marketing arm for us retired players! Golly Gee! How nice of them. I see myself as one with you, whether you played one year or 20 years. How is this going to end – or even come close to compensation – in regards to what NFL and NFL Films reap from the beginning of their agreement/contracts?

    I feel I had a pretty good career. Played 11 years, 14 playoff games and 2 Super Bowl Championships. Will I get anything out of this? No! I’m in over 30 NFL Films subjects. Again, nary a nickel rolled my way. And to beat all and the final insult: To purchase any DVD I’m in I must pay to see me on replay last time I checked. For me to buy half of the DVDs I’m in will cost at least $1200! Factor that just among retired players and that’s a lot of money. Factor in fans from all over the country, then the world… That, my friends, is a whole lotta money! So is this a bad deal?!!

    Yes – IT IS!

    Mike Davis
    Raiders 1977 – 1987
    San Diego Chargers 1987

  36. Johnny A. Watson
    August 25th, 2013 at 6:10 pm #

    John Watson

    I am Opted Out as of Aug. 24, 2013!

    Johnny A. Watson
    San Francisco 49ers, New Orleans Saints
    1971 – 1979